Inscription on the back of the Drawing of Edward Mulready Stone


by Everel Hunter


(to be found in longhand on the back of William Mulready’s portrait of the baby, Edward Mulready Stone)


The inscription on this drawing (of the baby, Edward Mulready Stone) reads: “Edward Mulready Stone, drawn for Mary Mulready Stone by W. M. Nov: 1845.”  The initials “W.M.” stand for William Mulready, R.A. Mary Mulready Stone was great grandmother to me (Everel Alice Hunter).   She was the ward and drawing pupil of William Mulready.   Her work consisted of portrait heads of this type and medium and she exhibited 12 times in the Royal Academy.   In 1843 at St. Mary Abbots Church, Kensington, she married John Jefferies Stone, and her son (my uncle) Harold Mulready Stone was also an artist and trained at the Slade School.   Art thus filtered down the family, and it is possible that Mary Mulready Stone, though stated in the Church marriage register to be the daughter of James and Elizabeth Leckie, of Kensington, was really Mulready’s daughter by Elizabeth Leckie.   Mulready lived near, and was separated from his wife after an early and very unhappy marriage.   A letter written by Mulready at the bedside of Elizabeth Leckie (who was then presumably widowed) directs that Mulready’s drawings should remain in the family.